Over the past few years I've found myself straying spiritually further and further from God. It's hard for me to pinpoint when and why this happened. I know that my opinions on religion as an organization have become rather cynical. I don't think I'm in the wrong to question this institution and what it has become. The fault is that I've let that which is made by man misdirect me. God is not a religion. If God leads you by the hand, religion pulls and squeezes you by the arm. I rejected religion's firm grip on me; but God's grasp is so gentle that I'd forgotten it was still there, leading me to all of the wonderful experiences I've had, and leading me through all of the bad ones.
I believe that God, whatever He is, has a message for us. I don't know if that message can be found in any of the world's holy books: corruption runs so deep that it's hard to fully trust any printed word. There are many, many teachings in the Christian bible that I will forever keep with me and try my best to follow. I question the authenticity of much of what is there though. The history of the bible is wrought with evidence pointing to the fact that at a very critical time a select few people in power had a very big say in what was to be left in, and what was to be left out of, the bible. Is it impossible that, whatever God's original plan for the bible and its role in our lives was, at that moment Man's capacity for greed and vanity changed all of that?
I can't believe that God's sole source of communication with us was to be by means of something as easily misunderstood and malleable as the printed word. We're not giving God enough credit if we believe that he can't communicate his message to us in an infinite number of ways. We can sense God's presence if we try. I feel it guiding me. I sense it when I discover the beauty in the nature surrounding me, in music and art, in friendships. I sense it in my conscience, my will. The problem is that lately I've stopped trying to sense this and perhaps even ignore it when it does surface. I allow myself to be moved and although I appreciate these things with all of my heart, without recognizing the divine in them, I can only superficially understand the immensity of their impact on me and my world. In the past few years especially I've had so much to be thankful for and I've rarely taken the time to thank God for any of it. I've worked hard for what I've accomplished, but I don't owe it all to myself. I am the result of the act of creation. I know this deep down; I don't need the bible to tell me that I'm not some cosmic accident. Thus, everything I do is a direct consequence of that original act. I want to recognize again, and in a way, to an even greater degree than before, that I'm a part of something bigger than what I see around me. There is something else here that I can't allow myself to ignore any longer. Although I know he never left, I want to recognize that God is in my life again.